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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 2, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am EST  

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jobs we need and to make american business is and workers competitive competitive in the global marketplace. simply put, the tax code is a nightmare. it is too complex, too time- consuming and costly. about 6% of individual taxpayers have to hire others to do their tax return because the code is too complicated. as a result, if it were an industry, it would be the largest in the united states and would consume 6.1 billion hours, the equivalent of more than 3 million full-time workers. yes, it is too costly. taxpayers spent -- spent 163 billion complying with the individual and corporate income tax rolls. add to that the fact that the u.s. has the highest corporate tax rate, and an outdated worldwide system of taxation and not to -- it is not too difficult to imagine why many do not view america as an
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attractive place to hire and invest. nothing about the bill we are considering tonight changes the realities. that is why the ways and means committee will pursue tax recovery of the tax reform in the next congress. -- will pursue tax reform in the next congress. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and get us one step closer to tax reform. i reserve my time. >> the gentleman's time is referred -- reserved. >> this is a bipartisan bill, and i will try to keep it within that spirit to the extent possible. as we are here today on january 1, hours away from people, americans returning to work, market reopening around the
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world, and all eyes focusing on whether this institution can govern. this legislation allows us to get done what we need to get done. this bill is vital for our nation's economic well-being. i want to emphasize for its standing as the world's most important economy. it is vital for 140 million middle class families whose tax cuts are made permanent. it is vital for 2 million unemployed american workers who need a continuation of insurance while they continue to look for work. it is vital for 30 million middle income americans who otherwise would have been hit by the alternative minimum tax. it is vital for 25 million
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working families and students who benefit from the child tax credit. in the american opportunity tax credit, which helps families pay for college and vital for doctors in millions of their patients who would have been hurt by drastic cuts in medicare reimbursement rates. it is also vital for businesses to an extension of important tax provisions such as the research and development credit, and also, renewable energy incentives that must continue in this great country of ours. and bonus depreciation to encourage business investments. i want to emphasize this somewhat with in contrast to what our chairman has said. this legislation breaks the iron barrier that for far too long has prevented additional tax revenues from the very
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wealthiest. it raises $620 billion in revenue. achieving the president's goal of asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay more while protecting 98% of families. that is what it does. 97% -- i want to emphasize this, contrary to propaganda from the other side, 97% of a small business is protected from any tax increase. this needs to be emphasized, especially in view of your comments. this package is vital for future deficit-reduction efforts. setting the stage for a balanced approach from here on out. delaying sequestration. yesterday, president obama again
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said he is committed to deficit reduction. but he emphasized several times, and i " "we have got to do this in a balanced, responsible way, with additional revenue as well as spending cuts." so i urge its passage. this bill sets the important precedent i mentioned in terms of additional revenues as well as spending cuts. the time is urgent. the time is now. we should support this legislation. i reserve the balance about time. >> the gentleman's time is reserved. gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of the oversight committee, the gentleman from california, mr. issa.
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>> the gentleman is recognized for 3 minutes. >> mr. speaker, i would like to be speaking for this bill, but i cannot. in the 12 years, almost to the day, that i have served with in this body, i have voted for every tax cut, every tax cut. i remember many of my colleagues, many of them friends, who each time we vote for them said, where is the pay-for? mr. speaker, there is $4 trillion of new debt and deficit, and there is now pay- for, and there is no anticipation of a pay-for. to say two months ago a new congress will do what we are not doing today is something i cannot bring myself to do. i would like to vote for this because i want americans to have lower taxes, but the other day in conference one of my colleagues pointed out that if
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in fact you are spending the money, you are taxing our future generation. we are taxing $1.20 trillion next year. we are taxing $1.20 trillion. we were not collected, but we are taxing $1.20 trillion of deficit. the chairman of the ways and means committee rightfully said we are not simplifying the tax code. we're not making a better or more fair. we are not getting rid of the nascar loophole. we are not getting rid of the electric motor scooter loophole. we're not getting rid of a lot of tax things that are here. most importantly, we are not taking things the president himself said he would be for, like getting the calculation of chain cpi, the consumer price index for social security and pensions right, which would reduce the deficit going forward. because of what we are not doing, i cannot believe that
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this tax cut will in fact be followed with spending cuts to offset any part of this $4 trillion we are putting on the backs of future generations. i thank all of you who will vote for it. i cannot bring myself to vote for tonight. i yield back. >> i yield myself 15 seconds. time after time, when republicans pass tax cuts and never brought $1 to the table to pay for them -- they thought that was a way to promote economic growth. how wrong they were. it is now my privilege to yield one minute to a person who has the title of leader, but who has been so much more.
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who has valiantly lead our efforts -- we owe to nancy pelosi a real debt of gratitude for our being where we are today. with real pleasure, i yield one minute to our distinguished leader, the gentle lady from california. >> recognized for 1 minutes. >> thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his great leadership as a ranking member on the ways and means committee and for bringing the clarity wi our thinkin on this important -- to our thinking on this important subject we're dealing with this evening. my colleagues -- we began the day with the vice-president of the united states coming to the democratic caucus and speaking to us about legislation that passed the senate last night, and 89-8. that is absolutely historical. legislation that he helped to negotiate, working with the
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republican and democratic leaders in the united states senate. it was a remarkable accomplishment because, as we all know, although we share the same goals we sometimes have different paths to achieving them. reconciling our differences was a monumental task, especially with the time growing short. so we appreciate the leadership of the vice president. we appreciate the leadership of republican and democratic leaders in the senate, and we thank speaker boehner for bringing this legislation to the floor. public we can duplicate a strong bipartisan vote that was achieved in the united states senate. why is that important? because the american people told us in the election that they wanted us to work together. they have their differences, too. they understand this agreement. they also understand compromise. that is what this legislation
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represents. the previous speaker said he was voting for the bill for what was not in it. that is an interesting approach. we can judge be legislation we vote on for what is in it, or vote against it for what is not in it. at some point you strike a balance. you balance the equities -- where you come out in terms of making a choice? i hope the choice the american people will make tonight will reflect the well and keep the call of the american people to work together and follow the lead of the senate with a strong bipartisan support. what do they want us to do? what are the priorities? they want us to create jobs. they want us to grow the economy.
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they want us to invest in education. they want us to reduce the deficit. if they want us to strengthen the middle class. that is what this legislation does. it does so in a way that is an important first step. we talk much about what would happen, all the gloom and doom of what would happen if we went over the cliff. let's talk instead about what happens if we do not go over the cliff. i believe that will go on, seeing the rule on the vote this evening. i believe we will see the american people come together with a strong vote. we will increase, by voting in passing this legislation in a strong bipartisan way, we will increase the confidence of the consumer, of the markets, of business, other employers to hire more. we will extend unemployment insurance for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. this is very important, not only to these individuals but there -- our economy, because
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this is money that is spent, creating jobs. we will extend tax relief for the middle-class, more than 98% of american taxpayers. more than 97% of american small businesses. we will support our middle- class, strengthen net, extending the american opportunity credit, the earned income tax credit, and the like. our distinguished ranking member went through the provisions. it is important to see them in light of what they mean. by doing this, by voting for this agreement, we would demonstrate that we have listened to the american people. we have heeded the call once again as we work together in a bipartisan way. i want to salute president obama. he campaigned on strengthening the middle-class. i think all of us probably did.
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this is one way for us to fulfill that promise. yes, to all those who say, all the other things that do not happen -- i do not know any piece of legislation i have ever voted for that did everything that i thought it should do. but this is a very, very strong first step as we go into the new year. let us say -- send a message to the american people that, again, well this bill does not accomplish all we need to do, to strengthen the middle-class and reduce the deficit, is a good way for us to have a happy start to a new year by taking this first step. i hope that again, you balance the equities, the pros and cons of this legislation -- you will weigh heavily in favor of the message that it sends to the kitchen tables of america about
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the respect we have for them. meeting their needs. meeting the challenges. this great middle-class is the backbone of our democracy. let's all be very patriotic tonight, support our middle- class, support our democracy, a vote aye on this strong bipartisan legislation that passed 89-8 in the united states senate. let's step up to the plate to do that in the house of representatives. i urge my colleagues to vote ate and yield back the balance of my time. >> this is the first set. now we can move on to the next up -- we will and -- we can and will pursue a comprehensive tax reform for this year, 2013. next, we need to address the fundamental drivers of our
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deficit and debt. that is out of control spending. with that, i urge support for this bill and reserve the balance of my time. >> 15 seconds. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i do not want the chairman's statement about permanently how much revenue would be made available -- the president has been made clear there has to be a balanced approach. no one should be misled into thinking otherwise. no one. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york's, mr. rendell. >> the gentleman from new york is recognized for 2 minutes. >> this is no profile in courage for me to be voting for this bill. it reminds me of a joke we used
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to have on lenox avenue -- someone stop hitting you in the head with a hammer and you were supposed to say, thank you so much for the relief. we created this monster. we're the ones u.s. at, at least congress has said -- we are the ones who said, at least congress has said, do what everyone but do not ask me to tax the wealthiest 2% of people in this country to pay their fair share. why don't you start talking about cutting people off from unemployment compensation? why do you think about not providing some much more for the aged? why don't you start privatizing these banks? true this was not the america ideal when i came to the congress. this is something a handful of people from nowhere came here and started preaching we had to destroy big government. the people who had no lobbyists, no one to come to, were saved by us, by responsible people who
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came together and said, basically, have you lost your mind? what are you doing? how can you go home and tell the people this is what you created? so we pause and common sense has prevailed. at least we can go back, and said, not now -- and say, not now, but they are coming again. they have all kinds of words they are using, like the debt ceiling. all this means is they're coming after us and coming after the president. they'll talk about sequestration -- what will it mean? cutting off benefits from people who need them the most, and with due regard to the other body, for once doing what the house could not get together in doing, we have not even seen had to pay for some of these things. things we would have handled differently if we had to pay for those doctors who work very hard for medicare. people say, how are you paying for them? everybody had amnesia, not knowing. after it is over, they will get paid, but this congress will
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make sure that the providers of health care are not penalized for this congress doing the right thing. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield 30 seconds to the distinguish gentleman from texas. >> i wanted to thank somebody on the other side -- after all these years -- for finally acknowledging publicly that 90% of the bush tax cuts help middle-class. i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. >> i will yield to my temptation to respond -- i will now yield two minutes to another distinguished gentleman member of our committee, mr. neal of massachusetts. >> recognized for 2 minutes.
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>> thank you. at this late hour, let me point something out and take exception to what chairman camp said at the outset of his remarks. we are here tonight because, despite what the gentleman from texas just as well, you cannot cut taxes by $2.30 trillion over 12 years and fight to wars -- two wars. when you heard the argument before that was so popular -- is the people's money. it will promote economic growth. the most anemic growth the american economy is had since hoover became president. you know what is the people's responsibility? those veterans hospitals. 1.7 million new veterans, 40,000 wounded. you know what the republican whip said? cutting taxes in a time of war is patriotic. so much for sacrifice for all of us. when you look back at how we got to this problem, revenues at 15% of gdp -- that is an
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eisenhower figure headed toward truman. we have argued 19% to 21% for the better part of 30 years. 12 years of tax cuts. this represents a reasonable step forward tonight. i want to say with some personal satisfaction, i am delighted with what we have finally done to put to rest alternative minimum tax. 1 million families in massachusetts were threatened with alternative minimum tax. it was irresponsible position tonight, but i want to give you a number -- you know what these have cost us? $2.20 trillion. over the life of amt. theology we heard that was so
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popular in this institution -- tax cuts paid for themselves. you cannot find a means to economist today in america who will of knowledge that problem -- mainstream economists today in america who will acknowledge that problem. let's get on two fundamental tax reform. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> are reserved to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. >> i yield two minutes to mr. blumenauer. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. this evening, we are expected to vote on an item that has many commendable and important items. unfortunately, too many of them are of short duration, much is left out, and most importantly we are losing a real opportunity for reform. the sgr is left to torment medical providers again. i am pleased the amt is patched tonight, but in fact we all know that it should at a minimum be reformed if not repealed.
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we have a body blow to the alternative energy industry that somehow was given a year's reprieve, but it is not what they need or what they deserve. and, because we refuse, at a moment of opportunity, to deal meaningfully with the national debt, and remember the budget for my republican friends, authored by my colleague, mr. ryan, would have required $6 trillion head room in the debt ceiling. now, we cannot continue to have the world's largest and most
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expensive military by far, at the lowest taxes of any of the major economies, the most expensive and inefficient health care, and continue to allow our country's infrastructure to fall apart while america ages and grows. this proposal represents absolutely the least we could have done under the circumstances. tragically, institutionalized for the next congress, the madness around here a short term frenzy around self inflicted deadlines that have no reality to them. that drives the american public crazy, and with good reason. not only can we do better, i would suggest that we must do better. may i have 20 more seconds? >> surely. >> the gentleman is recognized an additional 20 seconds. >> it is probably going to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. so be it.
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i can only hope that spirit of taking a risk on both sides of the aisle and both parties and the administration, that the obama administration and the new congress gets serious about reform and delivering services more cost effectively in ways, ironically, that people on both sides of the aisle agree with that are absent in this proposal. thank you. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i've reserved. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. >> i yield two minutes to another member of the ways and means committee. >> the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 2 minutes. >> the american people are the real winners here tonight. not anyone who navigates these halls. let's make that clear. we do not have a perfect bill in
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front of us. in fact, we have never had a perfect bill in front of us. but this is a bill that will provide much-needed certainty to millions of middle-class american families that their income taxes will not increase. since the recession in 2008, there has been a 25% increase in the number families below the poverty line in my home state of new jersey. i am sure will see more as a result of the devastation of hurricane sandy. last we forget before tomorrow that we need to respond to that storm, as all this responded to the other catastrophes over the past 15 years. we should not have exceptions, particularly for the states that are donor states. if you want to get into nickels and dimes, let's get into nickels and dimes. we want everybody to step up to the plate.
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we have been able to help families in need by extending the earned income-tax credit to 500,000 new jersey taxpayers earning an -- who will earn an average of $2,000 more because of the program. we have also held 460,000 new jersey families take advantage of the child tax credit. many of you, regardless of which they you come from, your constituents have taken advantage of that great program. almost 400,000 have been able to use the education tax credits. lest we forget we have done all -- on the alternative minimum tax. the chairman will tell you how many times the alternative minimum tax comes up, and yet we did nothing year-to-year. in just one county in my district, 87% of the family's -- >> an additional 30 seconds.
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>> passing -- i urge a yea vote on this legislation so we can all wake up happy for a change in the morning. thank you. >> mr. camp reserves. the gentleman from michigan. >> i yield two minutes to allyson schwartz, from pennsylvania. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. i rise in strong support of the jobs protection and recession prevention act of 2012. by passing this bill, congress can provide economic security and certainty for middle-class families. this has passed the senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, permanently extending 9 tax cuts permanently9% of american families -- tax cuts to 99% of american families. it expands relief for millions of young people and makes vital investments that build economic
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growth and jobs in this country. it averts the fiscal cliff and the humble economic consequences that may have resulted. as we close out this congress, we have reached resolution on a major issue facing this congress and an asian -- their tax policy for our families and our -- this congress and the nation -- their tax policy for our families. i expect it will be difficult to reach a bipartisan solution, but that does not mean it cannot be done. tonight's vote demonstrates it can. it benefits american families and american businesses. i yield back. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i still reserve. >> the gentleman reserves. >> @ i yield one minute -- i yield one minute to mr. moran. >> thank you, mr. chairman. tonight we will pass 83 provisions that removed a
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revenue. totaling $3.90 trillion. all of the deficit financed. we will add $64 billion for this year to reducing the deficit, so we have a $1.30 trillion annual deficit this year. that will bring it down to $1.24 trillion. many of us feel on this side that deficit does not matter, but it does matter because we have another deficit -- a deficit in the investment and education of our children. a deficit in the training and skills of our work force, and the physical infrastructure of our country. we will have none of those resources to make that investment after we make this vote tonight. the problem is, we have set up three more fiscal cliffs. we will have to deal with the debt ceiling, we will have to deal with the continuing resolution expiration, and we will have to deal with the sequestered. all that is left is spending
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cuts. the only question we have to ask ourselves is, what programs do we cut and how deep do we cut them? we have to look back on this night and regret it, notwithstanding the fact that 95% of us will look for. thank you. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i'm prepared to close the to the gentleman is prepared to close. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york. >> recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to support this bill. essentially, we have two choices here -- we prevent us from going over the cliff, or we go over the cliff. that would wreak havoc with the markets and everything else.
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it never should have come to this. we should have been negotiating and passing a balanced bill. the american people are fed up with what they see in this dysfunctional congress. harry truman, back in 1948 when he was running for president, campaigned against the atf. he called the do nothing 80th congress. that congress passed three times as many bills as the 112th congress. here we are at the last minute, rushing to pass this bill. it never should have happened this way. i commend president obama and vice president biden for protecting in a class with this and doing the best that they can, but my friends and my colleagues, we're going to have to work to meet in a sensible center. we are going to have to not ladies brinksmanship gains. the american people do not want it. president obama won reelection campaigning for the middle- class. this keeps those parties and we ought to support it. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, continues to reserve. >> i now yield two minutes to
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danny davis, our colleague from illinois and soon to be joining us on ways and means. >> recognized for 2 minutes. >> thank you. i have never seen a compromise where everybody got everything that they wanted or liked everything that they got. i certainly do not like everything that i see in this bill. and i certainly did not get everything that i wanted. but i do like the fact that senior citizens can go to the doctors because they are being paid a reasonable rate. i do not like the fact that some of the health programs in my community, a disproportionate hospitals all across the country are being cut. i discussed two phone calls a few minutes ago from two constituents, one from oak park, ill., one from west chester. they both did all they could to convince me to vote against this bill.
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after listening to them, i then told them, do you know that 320,000 people in our state rely upon unemployment insurance benefits last year? i do not know how i could face those individuals with no hope, no possibility, no idea. when i go to church on sunday, i know i will see people with the assurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail. that is one of the reasons that, yes, i will vote for this bill. it is good legislation. people needed right now. not next year, not next month, not next week. and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. >> i now with pleasure yield three minutes to another member of our leadership, the gentleman from south carolina. >> recognized for 3 minutes.
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>> thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. mr. speaker, it is tempting to say it is about time the house put aside their extreme partisanship and work together on a compromise to address the nation's most pressing issues. in reality, it is far past time to put aside extreme partisanship. thread the entirety of the 100th of congress we have seen -- 112th congress we have seen narrow political interests placed ahead of the public interest. here we are on new year's night, the clock running out on the very existence of this congress.
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finally, considering bipartisan legislation to provide middle- class tax cuts and require the wealthiest once again pay their fair share so we can grow the economy, create jobs, and protect the most vulnerable in our society. it is indeed well past time that we got about the people's business. i served on the group of both republican and democratic representatives and senators who worked with the vice president on our nation's fiscal issues. we made good progress in those talks until our republican friends walked away, fearing the wrath of the tea party. i also served in the bipartisan joint select committee on deficit reduction, the so-
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called super committee, that spend countless hours discussing these issues in detail. it was very clear -- the elements of a fair and balanced fiscal plan were achievable. but at the end of the process, the republican leaders refuse to compromise and the super committee failed. so here we are. well this is not a perfect bill, and i have serious concerns about some of the cuts it contains, it does contain the element of fairness. this bill protects the middle- class. >> the gentleman is recognized for an additional 60 seconds. >> the bill protects the middle- class and working people with a more progressive tax code than we have had in a very long time. and this bill prevents the meat axe approach to budget cuts that could do more severe damage to our national defense and import and domestic priorities. mr. speaker, i hope that the
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112th congress will end this week -- i am hoping the 113th congress can work together toward honorable compromises to get the people's business done. i urge a yes vote. thank you. >> the gentleman yield back his time. the gentleman from michigan. >> we are going to vote soon. but first we want to hear from our whip, the distinguished gentleman from maryland who has worked so hard on this issue for decades. mr. hoyer. >> the gentleman from maryland is recognized for 3 minutes. >> i thank mr. kemp for his leadership. there is, of course, it's time for partisanship.
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there is a time for making a political points. that time has been and it will be again. that time is not tonight. all of us have travelled throughout this country and we have heard our constituents and our neighbors and our friends say, please do not have us go over the cliff. we're not sure exactly what going over the cliff means, but they intuitively and deeply feel that it will not be good to go over that cliff. the sooner we come to this -- so we come to this floor tonight with almost everybody who has spoken saying this bill is not perfect. of course, that could be applied to any and all bills that we consider in this house. compromise is not the art of perfection. by its very definition, compromise contains elements that neither side likes. but it also contains pieces both sides can embrace.
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what we will do tonight is not only adopt a piece of legislation that will give literally tens of millions of americans the assurance that their taxes will not be raised, millions of small businesses that their taxes will not be raised, millions of people who through no fault of their own are struggling to find a job and try to keep bread on their table the assurance that we will be there to help. tonight, we will come together and do something else. with 37.5 hours left to go in the 112th congress, we will display to all of our constituents that yes, that in the final analysis we have the ability to come to gather, to act not as republicans, not as democrats, but as americans.
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435 of us, sent here by our neighbors and friends to try and do the best we can, realizing there are 435 points of view. what we strive to do is to reconcile those differences to create consensus. without consensus, but democracy cannot work. there will be time for partisan differences. there will be time for partisan confrontation with in the days of the 113th congress. but this night, as we end the 112th congress, as we have strived mightily to come to an
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agreement with great difficulty and realizing that all of us have very strong feelings, i sincerely regret that this is not a big, bold, balanced plan. >> i yield 2 minutes. >> recognized an additional 2 minutes. >> i regret is not a big, bold, and balanced plan. we had an opportunity to reach such an agreement in a bipartisan fashion. and we will not reach a big, bold, and balanced plan without bipartisanship. the decisions we will have to make will be too difficult not to be done in a bipartisan fashion. but this night, we take a step, a positive step. and the people watching us, mr. speaker, on television tonight, and reading about their congress tomorrow, and seeing that we were able to act, not perfectly, but in a bipartisan
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fashion, to try to take a step toward fiscal responsibility, fiscal stability, and yes, caring for those who most need our help in this country. so i urge my colleagues, as the leader of my party in this congress urged us, to support this legislation. not as a democrat. but not as a republican. but as an american who understands that our people believe that action is necessary. i would urge all of us, as we close this debate, to do so in a way that brings us together, not drive us apart. that reaches out to the best in us, not to the partisan in us. mr. speaker, it is time for this congress to come together and address this issue and act together and pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time.
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>> the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. >> i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california. >> recognized. >> i think what is lost in the 30-second sound bites on the fiscal cliff is the real cliff facing this country. in the form of a massive weight of entitlement obligations. government accounting does not tell the whole story. the actual liabilities of the federal government, the present value of medicare and medicaid and social security programs, already exceed $86 trillion. by 2040, our entitlement obligations will consume all of the average postwar projected tax revenue. we have to come to grips with that. that means every dollar
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corrected -- collected by the irs will go to pay social security, medicare, or medicaid. without reforms, will have to go out and borrow should that happen. it is unfortunate that the president was not willing to engage on this front, and it is unfortunate that the senate leader continues to deny the crisis. on the day of the new year's resolutions, let's hope senator reid president obama result to be honest about the crisis and nation faces with the coming wave of entitlement obligations. making the program solvent and reining in the deficits which every economist will tell you is unsustainable. this must be done in 2013. but without the legislation before us today, without this bill, millions of americans would see their tax rates go up, and that would provide a
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systemic shock to our already weak economy. this plan that we are about to vote on locks in a reduced tax rate for middle-class families who otherwise would have seen $3,000 in higher taxes on average. it currently holds down the death tax, which impacts so many small businesses. a permanently protect the middle-class from the alternative minimum tax. the plan does away with a new entitlement program created in obamacare, and it makes permanent a 15% dividend rate for income up to $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for married couples, and a 20% rate for those above. that rate would have gone to 39.6% for dividends. that would have been very
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injurious to our capital markets. that would be very injurious to economic growth if we allow that to happen. so tax relief has been achieved. now is the time for the president to work with congress to address government overspending, the underlying problem. and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. >> are you ready to close? i will do the same. i regret the last statements. it is not correct to say that the president is not interested in deficit reduction. that is not true. it was the republican leadership in this house that walked away from the big package. so i think it is trouble some that you come here, apparently saying you will vote for this bill, by launching an unfair,
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untrue representation of what has been going on. sellout wants to be very clear, because my guess -- so i want to be very clear, because my guess is the chairman will talk again, that there has been a permanent level of revenue set by this bill. that is not correct. if that is an effort to get votes on your side, i want the record to be clear. so i will close by reading from the president's statement of yesterday. "i want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts that are being threatened for next month, those also have to be balanced.
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remember, my principle has always been, let's do things in a balanced, responsible way. now, the same is true for any deficit or future deficit agreement. obviously, we are going to have to do more to reduce our debt and deficit. i am willing to do more." he already has done substantial. but it is going to have to be balanced. we are going to have to do it in a balanced way. then he talks about the need to address medicare. >> time has expired. mr. camp. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. >> the gentleman is recognized.
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>> you ever heard us talk about, what does the fiscal cliff mean -- i would say i agree with my friend from maryland that if we did not address this fiscal cliff issue every single american will see a tax increase. and we the biggest tax increase in the history of the country. that is why it is so important we are here tonight acting in a permanent way, and i would say to my friend from michigan, it is correct, this is a permanent tax policy. these are permanent tax provisions we're putting in this bill. that permanently set the baseline. that permanently set how much
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money the government can take out of the economy. now, because of this, this is the largest tax cut in american history. i think that is helpful because the best way to grow our economy and get out of the debt and deficit -- it is to grow our economy. we can do this through comprehensive than fundamental tax reform. this is just the first step. getting to the ability to strengthen our economy, create the jobs we so badly need. we have that years of anemic economic growth. we have projected anemic economic growth in 2013. it is so important we try to create jobs and grow the economy. we can do that through comprehensive pro-growth tax reform that lowers rates, broadens the base, and simplifies the tax code that is far too complex. as i said with in my opening statement, the tax code is a nightmare, and it is getting almost enough to have a nightmare ourselves, but let me just say that we not only to grow the economy but also need to address the fundamental causes of our debt and deficit. that is out of control spending, obligations we have not got in the financial wherewithal to meet. we need to strengthen this programs and make sure they are sustainable for the long term, but we also need to address the problem of out of control
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spending. this is the first-ever -- permanent tax policy that then sets the stage for comprehensive and fundamental tax reform and then addressing out of control spending. this will be several steps. this is an important one. this is a critical one for the future of our country and i urge 8 yes vote. >> the house passed the senate version of the fiscal cliff bill. the measure delays spending cuts and eliminates tax increases for beenshortly after the vote, bob president obama spoke about the passage of the measure at the white house. minutes. >> a central premise of my campaign for president has been to change the tax code that was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class families. tonight, we have done that. thanks to the votes of republicans and democrats in
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congress, i will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 25 of americans -- 2% of americans will preventing a tax hike that will put america back into recession and has a severe impact on families across america. i want to thank all the leaders of the house and senate. in particular, i want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary vice president, joe biden, as well as the leader, harry reid, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell. everybody worked hard on this, and i appreciate it. once again, thank you for your great work. under this law, more than 98 percent of americans and 97 percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up. millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their kids and send them to college. the investments they make and the clean energy jobs they create. 2 million americans were out of
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work but out there looking every day and will continue to receive unemployment benefits, as long as they're actively looking for a job. i think we all recognize this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy, as well as an opportunity for everyone. the fact is the deficit is still too high. changing things for the economy to grow as fast as it can. this would put the company on a path to paying down the debt and putting americans back to work, building bridges and providing investments like education and job training. unfortunately there was not enough support for time for that kind of large agreement and the lame duck session congress.
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that failure comes with a cost. the nation has made business more uncertain and consumers less confident. but we are continuing to chip away at this problem step-by- step. last year and signed into law 1.7 trillion and deficit reduction. tonight's agreement further reduces the deficit by raising $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in america, and there will be more in deficit reduction as congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we've now delayed for two months. i want to make this point. as i have demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, i am very open to compromise. i agree with democrats and republicans that the aging population and the rising cost of health care makes medicare is the biggest contributor to the deficit. i believe we have to find ways to reform that program without hurting seniors to count on us
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to -- count on it to survive. i believe there is further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate. but we cannot simply cut our way to prosperity. cutting spending has to go hand in hand with further reforms to the tax code so that the wealthiest corporations the individuals cannot take advantage of loopholes and deductions that are not available to most americans and cannot keep cutting things like basic research in new technology and still expected to succeed in the 21st century economy. so we have to continue to move forward with deficit reduction but do it in a balanced way, making sure we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending. while i will negotiate over many things, i will not have another debate with this congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they have already
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racked up through the laws that the past. let me repeat. we cannot not pay bills that we have already incurred. if congress refuses to give the united states government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic, far worse than the impact of the fiscal cliff. people remember back in 2011, the last time this course of action was threatened, the entire recovery was put at risk. consumer confidence plunged. business investment plunged, growth crop. we cannot go down that path again. today's agreement enshrined the principle of the law that will remain in place as long as i'm president. the deficit needs to be reduced in a way that is balanced. everyone pays their fair share and does their fair part. that is how the economy works
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best. that is how we grow. the sum total of all the budget agreement we reached so far proves there is a path forward, that it is possible. if we focus not on politics, but on what is right for the country. the one thing i think hopefully in the new year we will focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less trauma, a little less brinkmanship and not scare folks quite as much. we could come together as democrats and republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces the deficit, protect the middle class, provides ladders into the middle class for everyone who is willing to work hard. we can find a way to look for the investments we need to grow and compete. we could settle this debate, or at the very least not allow it to be so consuming all the time that it stops us from meeting a host of other challenges that we
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face, creating jobs, fixing the immigration system, protecting the planet from harmful effects of climate change, boosting domestic energy production, protecting our kids from the horrors of gun violence. it is not as possible to do the things, but obligation to ourselves and future generations. i look forward to working with every single member of congress to meet this obligation in the new year. i hope that everyone gets at least a day off i guess or a few days off so that people can refresh themselves, because we will have a lot of work to do in 2013. thank you. happy new year. >> a couple of members of congress will join us this morning to talk about passage of the fiscal cliff bill. plus, started off the program with your phone calls, e-mail